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From mountain bikes and road racers to hybrids, the Bicycle Repair Manual helps riders keep their bikes in peak condition. Perfect for beginners and dedicated cyclists alike, this updated guide to bicycle repair includes the latest technological advances in cycling, troubleshooting charts, hints and tips for diagnosing and problem, and servicing schedules. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Add to Wishlist. USD Overview From mountain bikes and road racers to hybrids, the Bicycle Repair Manual helps riders keep their bikes in peak condition.

About the Author As an author and journalist with extensive technical knowledge of bikes, gained over many years as a bike-shop owner and racer of road, track, mountain, and cyclo-cross bikes, Chris Sidwells has written on a range of cycling-related subjects. You can also use this technique to start undoing an Allen bolt.

Use long-nosed pliers to hold cables and keep them under tension. Buy a small pair with pointed jaws for tight areas. Keep the jaws clean and grease-free. Lubricate the pivot with light oil occasionally. Fix a cable tidy on to a brake cable to stop the ends from fraying. Push the cable tidy on to the end of the cable and squeeze it flat with your pliers. If you are gentle, you can use the inside jaws of your cable cutters.

Using a spanner Cutting cable outers Always use the correct size of spanner for the nut you are tightening or loosening. Hold the spanner firmly at the end to maximize leverage. Make sure that the jaws fully enclose the nut to prevent it from slipping.

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Cut a brake cable outer between the spirals of the metal tube under the sheath. If the spirals become compressed, squeeze them with the inside of your cutter jaws until they are round. Cut a gear cable outer through the wire under the sheath. If you need to, squeeze the wire with the inside of your cutter jaws until its crosssection is round again. Organizing a bike workshop Regularly maintaining your bike and carrying out essential repairs means that you can keep your bike at peak performance.

If you have the space, the best place to do this is in a workshop that is well organized and equipped with all the tools you need for your particular bike. Create a workshop that is dry with plenty of light — and follow the four key workshop principles.

Grit and dirt, for example, stick to lubricants and act as a grinding agent. Clean the parts regularly to keep them running smoothly and prevent them from wearing out. While cleaning your bike, check all the parts and components for damage. The process of cleaning is straightforward. First remove old lubricants by applying a degreaser.


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Then wash the dirt off with water and detergent. Finally, rinse, dry, and lubricate the exposed moving parts. Rinse with clean water and dry everything with a cloth.

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Removing dirt and oil 1 Remove both wheels from the bike and put the frame in a workstand or hang it up. This allows the chain to run freely so that it can be cleaned thoroughly. Spray on to the chainset, front and rear mechs, and the chain, covering each link. Spray the chainrings, chainset, and front mech with more degreaser if there is still stubborn oil and dirt inset. Turn the pedals so the chain runs through the sponge. Cleaning your bike Use a cassette scraper to gouge out any dirt and debris that has accumulated between the sprockets. Start at the top and work down. Use a hard-bristled brush on the cassette so that the degreaser reaches into the spaces between the sprockets.

Allow a few minutes for the degreaser to work and wash off with soapy water. Each time a part of the bike is lubricated, remember to remove the old oil and grease with degreaser first see pp. Applying new lubrication on top of old does not work because lubricants attract grit and dirt to the bike and form a grinding paste that can cause damage. The lubricants needed vary from light spray oil dry lube and heavier oil wet lube to light grease manufactured specifically for bikes and anti-seize compounds. Dribble some light oil inside the cable outers before you fit a new cable.

This makes sure that the cable runs smoothly inside. Poor gear-shifts are often due to cables running dry inside their outers. The same is true of brakes that are hard to apply and slow to return to the ready-to-use position. The jockey wheels on the rear mech also need some light oil where they rotate around the jockey wheel bolts. Oil the chain after riding in the wet, and clean, dry, and lubricate when cleaning your bike see pp. Except in winter, or in bad conditions, use light oil from a spray can or bottle.

Bottom brackets and hubs need most attention, but headsets need regreasing less often. Riding regularly in the rain shortens the interval between lubrications. Spread anti-seize compound on the seat pin and stem to prevent the two components from binding with the seat tube or steerer tube. Although you can use grease in place of anti-seize, always use a copper-based anti-seize compound for lubricating components made with carbon fibre. Before going for a ride, run through a few checks to reduce the chances of a mechanical failure: brakes that cease to work, a loose handlebar, a tyre blow-out, or slipping gears.

The checks will help to avoid many of the accidents caused by equipment failures. Safety checks help the management of a bike, allowing the replacement of parts in good time or the completion of nonurgent maintenance work. Run a finger under the down tube where it joins the head tube. Cracks may form in the metal here because of the heat of the brazing process.

If there is any movement, check the stem and steerer bolts and tighten them if necessary. Apply each brake fully and push the bike forwards. If the lever pulls to the bar before the brake stops a wheel rotating, adjust the travel or replace the pads. Lift the bike, slowly spin the wheels, and check the tyres for cuts, splits, or bulges. If you find a bulge, or are in any doubt, replace the tyre.

Check the tyre pressure.

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The rivets form potentially weak areas where stresses in the metal may develop into cracks. Gears that will not mesh properly after you change them can be distracting and, if you look down to see what is wrong, potentially dangerous. If the gears are correctly adjusted and the chain is still jumping, check for a stiff link. The timetable on the right provides a good template since it shows the tasks you should perform on your bike and suggests when you should do them.

Your schedule depends on how much and where your bike is ridden. A heavily-used, off-road bike requires attention at much shorter intervals, whereas a bike used for infrequent, short road journeys will need less regular attention. However, work carried out as part of a service schedule does not replace the safety checks that must be carried out before every ride see pp.

You should also check your bike and lubricate the transmission every time you clean it. Play, absence of oil lines, and cracked seals are all evidence of worn seals, which should be replaced by a qualified technician.

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Fork and shock sag see pp. The chain will not shift on to a larger sprocket or it shifts but does not run smoothly on it. The chain shifts cleanly, but jumps on the sprockets when pressure is applied to the pedals. The chain rubs on the inner then the outer side of the front mech cage. On a bike with a single chainring, the chain persistently falls off. When you apply the front brake and push the bike forwards, the headset moves forwards relative to the head tube.

There is side-to-side play of a hub on its axle, or when turning the axle in the hub you feel either a roughness or tight and loose spots. When pedalling forwards, the cassette spins, but there is no drive to the bike. Alternatively, the cassette spins before the drive is engaged or there is much side-to-side play in the cassette. It explains why a bike may be showing these symptoms and then suggests a solution, referring you to the pages where you will find a detailed sequence of steps to guide you.

If you still find the problem difficult to solve, consult the How They Work pages for the specific part you are working on, so that you can understand it better. However, sometimes, the symptoms confronting you can be due to a different malfunction to the one suggested in this chart.


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If after consulting the relevant pages in the book you still cannot solve the problem, ask the experts at a good bike shop for help. The two brake pads do not contact the braking surface at the same time. The brake pads contact the braking surface without pulling the lever too far, but are ineffective at slowing the bike. The fork regularly reaches the limit of its travel bottoms out.

The front wheel judders up and down when cornering. Strip down the cables, flush the outers with degreaser, clean the inners with degreaser, lubricate, and reassemble. See pp. The cable has stretched or the relevant mech is poorly adjusted.